Deriving Einstein's Mass - Energy Equation E = mc2
In a brilliant paper titled "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy-Content?" published in September 1905 in the German physics journal Annalen der Physik, 17, 1905 ("Ist die Tragheit eines Korpers von seinem Energiegehalt abha¤ngig?") Einstein was able to show that the mass of an object is a measure of its energy content.
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In this Ï - Physics Initiative in Education module Einstein's Mass-Energy Equation E = mc2 is derived and some of its implications are described.
The pedagogical approach outlined is an example of how a physicist is able to derive a result âfrom first principles.
This module is an excellent introduction to Physics 11 students to the methodology used by physicists.
The derivation and activities outlined in this module are consistent with the Prescribed Learning Outcomes set out by the BC Ministry of Education.